In detail

Vaccines for children

Vaccines for children

European Vaccine Week is an initiative in the WHO European Region, led and coordinated by the WHO regional office. It has the support of a number of partners, including UNICEF and ECDC - European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

European Vaccine Week is an initiative in the WHO European Region, led and coordinated by the WHO regional office. It has the support of a number of partners, including UNICEF and ECDC - European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Although a sharp drop in vaccine-preventable diseases has made many of the contagious diseases a thing of the past for many people in the European region, these diseases continue to cause disabilities and even deaths. More than half a million children in the European region do not receive the basic vaccines.
All countries have groups of unvaccinated, vulnerable or difficult to locate and epidemics of infectious diseases still occur.

Vaccination saves lives
The more people are vaccinated, the more lives are saved. Vaccination saves the lives of over 3 million people worldwide each year and prevents illnesses and disabilities of several million others.
The introduction of a new vaccine leads to a dramatic decrease in the number of infected persons. When the vaccination rate drops, the diseases reappear.
Vaccination is a basic right, but not accessible to everyone
In recent decades, the world has witnessed many improvements in health, but the benefits are unevenly distributed throughout the world and in the WHO European Region.

  • for example, the estimated number of annual deaths per 100,000 children under the age of 5 is 7844 in the Central Asian and Kazakh Republics and 646 in the European Region.
  • In each country, there are small groups that do not benefit from vaccination and continue to be susceptible to disease. For example, in measles epidemics from 2006-2007 in Albania, Greece, Italy, Romania and Serbia, the vast majority of cases came from the middle of the Roma and from the migratory groups.
    Outbreaks are a serious threat
    Due to effective vaccination programs, most people in industrialized countries have not witnessed disease outbreaks that can be prevented by vaccination and many assume that they are no longer a threat.
    Recently, countries in the European Region have had to deal with massive epidemics, especially measles. These epidemics continue to spread in the Region, causing thousands of cases and leading to deaths among children and adults.
    This re-emergence of diseases that were under control or had been eliminated in the Region is a permanent concern. The WHO European region was declared a polio-free zone in 202 and efforts are being made to achieve this success.
    The Commission that monitors the status of polio in the Region has expressed concern about the increased risk of import of polio into Europe.
    Infectious diseases still kill
    Although the WHO European Region has the lowest incidence rate of vaccine-preventable diseases, they continue to produce approximately 32,000 preventable deaths among children under 5 years old each year.
    Prior to the introduction of routine vaccination in childhood, infectious diseases were the leading cause of child deaths and outbreaks were common.
    Even today, measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis and neonatal tetanus kill. Worldwide vaccine-preventable diseases kill 1.4 million young children annually.
  • Recommended vaccines

    Diseases can be controlled and eliminated
    With the coverage of vaccines as large as possible, the number of illnesses decreases. With concerted effort, some diseases can even be eliminating.

  • rubella, which used to kill 5 million people worldwide annually, was eradicated in 1978
  • WHO declared the European polio-free region in 2002. The global fight against polio has saved 5 million people from paralysis.
  • The Americans declared themselves without measles transmissions in 2002: but after only 12 years, there was an epidemic that caused 250,000 diseases and over 10,000 deaths.
  • WHO Member States in the European Region have agreed to work to eliminate measles, rubella and rubella congenital syndrome by 2010. Rujeola is still a major burden, but the number of reported cases has dropped considerably over the past 10 years.
    Vaccination is cost effective
    Vaccination is one of the rare services that costs very little but offers huge benefits to the health of the population.
    Effective health policies and their costs should be seen as an investment, not a cost. Good health is a blossoming of economies, diseases on the contrary.
  • a study in 11 countries in Europe showed that the treatment of measles was 209-480 euros per case, while the costs for vaccinating measles represent 0.17-0.97 euros per person.
  • another study estimated savings associated with measles elimination in Western European countries of about 36 million euros, if countries maintain a two-dose rubella-mumps and measles vaccination program and 776 million euros if, after elimination, countries change the vaccination program at a dose.
    Children depend on health systems to provide them with a cheap, effective and safe vaccination.
    Strong and sustained immunization systems can ensure that each child receives the right vaccine in the right place at the right time. In the European Region, 10.3 million children are born every year and need to be vaccinated. In order to support the success of the vaccination, these children must be reached.
    A well-functioning immune system is one of the key elements of a strong health system.
    Investigations into human, material and technical resources regarding vaccination contribute to the ability to provide primary health care services and to ensure that no child's life will be endangered.
    Recommended ageVaccine
    The first 24 hoursHepatitis B
    The first 4-7 daysBCG
    2 monthsDiphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-hepatitis B vaccine (DTP-Hep B) and oral polio vaccine (VPO)
    4 monthsDiphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP) and oral polio vaccine (VPO)
    6 monthsDiphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-hepatitis B vaccine (DTP-Hep B) and oral polio vaccine (VPO)
    12 months(DTP) Oral polio vaccine (VPO)
    12 - 15 monthsRujeolic-rubeolic-oreion (RRO) vaccine
    30 - 35 monthsDiphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine
    7 yearsPediatric diphtheria-tetanic (DT) vaccine, Rujeolic-rubeolic-oreion (RRO) vaccine
    9 yearsOral polio vaccine (VPO)
    14 yearsPediatric diphtheria-tetanus vaccine (DT), rubella vaccine (Rub) - girls only
    18 yearsHepatitis B (Hep B)
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